West Pier Revealed

Remarkable results from new West Pier exploration


West Pier in Close Up

These are the first close up shots of the iconic West Pier remains since the devastating fires of 2003 made the structure too dangerous to access.
Shot on the lowest tide of the year, the West Pier Trust investigation in association with Visual Air shows the West Pier is in better shape than first hoped. Beautiful detailed ironwork still survives,  along with staircases, walkways and much of the original support structure.
The ruin has also become a haven for wild life home to  cormorants and a myriad of other birds as well as sea life.
Credit: Sam Moore at Visual Air

Brighton’s iconic West Pier has been revealed and viewed close up for the first time in 20 years. Ever since two devastating fires in 2003, the pier has been too dangerous to access and, battered by frequent storms, experts feared the worst for its condition and prospects for the future.

But now, specialist drone footage, taken on one of the lowest tides of the year, has enabled the ruin to be studied in detail, and its future assessed. The results are extraordinary.

Despite the constant battering by nature, the terminally damaged pier is in better condition than experts dared hope, and it is the arson attacks, not storms, that have caused the worst damage. Beautiful decorative sections are still intact. Decades old concrete sleeves remain, protecting the original struts and piles screwed into the seabed in 1866. Staircases used to board the pleasure steamers are still clearly visible and sections of the old promenade walkways survive.

The investigation also shows how whilst the pier may be unsafe for humans, a wealth of seabirds and marine life have turned it into a living iron reef.

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